A key U.S. Senate committee has endorsed a defense bill that would maintain submarine production levels at Electric Boat's Rhode Island manufacturing plant, The Associated Press reports.
Rhode Island U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said Thursday that the $604 billion defense appropriations bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee contains funding for the production of two Virginia-class submarines per year.
The subs are built by Electric Boat and Virginia-based Newport News Shipbuilding.
Reed sits on the Appropriations Committee and says submarine production is critical to both the state's economy and the nation's defense.
The Obama administration had proposed funding only one submarine per year.
The bill now moves to the full Senate. The House has already voted to preserve sub production levels.
Electric Boat employs more than 10,000 workers at Groton, Conn., and Quonset Point, R.I.